The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) reported that archaeologists discovered a 2,000-year old mysterious pyramid-like ensemble in Jerusalem. It seems the podium of stairs dates back to the time of Jesus.
The excavation was conducted as a result of the partnership between the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and the City of David Foundation, said the IAA.
The construction is made of large ashlar stones and was discovered alongside a street that Jewish pilgrims would traverse from the Pool of Siloama to the Second Temple, in the Temple Mount area. They would celebrate their holidays at the temple.
That specific well-preserved street is made of gigantic stone blocks and it represented a very large construction project from the City of David, during the Second Temple era, and built approximately in the 1st century AD. Moreover, the Second Temple period lasted across the time frame of 538 BC to 70 AD and it gained its name due to the temple King Herod the Great built. The First Temple had been destroyed by Babylonians.
However, in 70 AD, the Romans tore down the Second Temple, which was an awe-inspiring white and gold one. Due to their triumph, they engaged in building the Colosseum, in Rome.
The co-director of the excavation, Joe Uziel, and his colleague Nahshon Szanton reported that
“the purpose of the staircase remains a mystery.”
It is a unique structure, which was nonspecific to ancient Israel, whereas it did not lead to any building.
Furthermore, Uziel explained that the pyramid-like ensemble
“was part and parcel of the road itself”,
meaning that they were built simulatenously.
But many artifacts including pottery vessels, glassware and stone vessel were found at the excavation site, at the base of the podium. Archaeologists, however, believe the podium was a point of attraction for passers-by.
Szanton and Uziel reported that it would’ve been intriguing to find out what Jerusalem’s population had been saying or, perhaps, gossiping over there, 2,000 years ago. The archaeologists speculate that maybe messages were shouted from atop the podium. Or, otherwise, according to rabbinic texts, stone platforms were used in ancient times of the Second Temple for auctions or finding lost belongings.
Photo Credits jpost.com